Thursday, July 16, 2009

ABC: "J.K. Rowling: A Day in the Life": a supplement to the new Harry Potter movie

Tonight Elizabeth Vargas hosted an early evening ABC Primetime special, “J.K.Rowling: A Day in the Life”, with the main news story (“Inside the Magical World of J.K. Rowling: Elizabeth Vargas Takes Viewers Through a Year in the Life of Famed Harry Potter Author” here. The main video link for the ABC show, broken into six segments, is here.

The show starts by showing her writing the conclusion of her last book in a hotel room in Edinburgh, Scotland in January 2007. She has a personal celebration when she official finishes the book on her computer (I couldn’t tell if it was a Mac), and the manuscript is hand-delivered in clandestine fashion to a runner at Heathrow Airport in London for delivery to Schoolastic. Editors actually check to see if every loose end is tied. In my own case in writing a book, editing went on to the end; the difference in processing for “established authors” was interesting to me.

She does discuss her desire to explore good and evil, and although no one knew the ending of the last “Harry Potter” book (now to be two films), she had to satisfy her own principles. Responding to external adversity is a major issue for her.

The show did mention how she started writing, by hand at first, in 1990, and how she dealt with a mother with multiple sclerosis, and with being a single mother after a failed marriage.

She also talked about how nice it is now to be a writer and not have to publish immediately.

Attribution link for Edinburgh picture (Wikimedia commons). I visited Edinburgh in November 1982. It does look a bit like the world of the HP movies.

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